Holding out for a hero because our upcoming item queue’s currently full of swords and shields.
Hero Academy For iPhone : Hate would be a harsh word to describe our initial feelings towards the game, it would also be accurate. And that’s because Hero Academy initially shoves a difficulty wall in front of you — one that repeatedly punches you in the face while laughing like a loon.
The strange thing is, we weren’t expecting that either. On the surface, Hero Academy seems innocent enough: a somewhat chess-like asynchronous two-player affair with cute little cartoon fantasy figures for pieces; the aim being to wipe out the opposition, or destroy their crystals. But the surprising amount of depth in the game through the variety of characters, their unique powers, the manner in which you can upgrade units and how all of this hangs together, means newbies will get their butts kicked until they figure out how everything works. We say: deal with it, watch the tutorial video, learn, and return with fiery vengeance, because once Hero Academy gets its hooks into you, the game is glorious.
Hero Academy‘s success largely hinges on balance. Each turn is limited to five actions, which can include using or swapping an item from the queue at the foot of the screen, moving a unit, attacking, activating a power-up, and so on. This forces you to think strategically and also take risks; often, our fifth action was one we knew had the potential to tip the game either way, which adds to the thrill as you wait for your opponent to respond. Usefully, you can ‘test’ combinations of moves before you actually commit.
Considering the possibilities on offer, it’s also remarkable that none of the three very different teams appears to give players an unfair advantage; instead, they all provide more depth and also alternative units that might better suit your playing style (once you figure out what that is). By default, the free Hero Academy comes with the Council, which boasts knights, a beardy wizard, archers and the like, but IAPs unlocks more races such as the Dark Elves.
This really is the best way to implement IAP, supplying a free game and then charging for extra content (in this case, buying one team also removes all ads) or the odd bit of optional customisation (avatars, team colours). But there’s nothing here for paying your way to victory, using your wallet to power-up your team and duff up your opponents. Instead, Hero Academy is all about relying on your wits and learning the subtleties of the game while trying to outsmart your opponent.